(A revised and slightly expanded version of a paper published earlier in Dreamtime Vol 16, Fall, 1999 issue. Used with permission).
BY RITA DWYER
Dreamers who participated in our annual telepathy contest at Conference XVI in Santa Cruz were really hot this year! We had an unusual number of impressive hits on the target picture (randomly selected from a pool of four), as well as solid hits on the other three which were not selected nor sent telepathically during the night, so figure it out, folks! That phenomenon never ceases to amaze us.
A favorite conference special event, the contest is patterned after experiments done by Montague Ullman and Stanley Krippner at the Maimonedes Dream Laboratory in Brooklyn, NY, and reported in their book Dream Telepathy: Experiments in Nocturnal ESP (Penguin Books, 1973). Chuck Coburn joined me this year as a contest facilitator, substituting for Robert Van de Castle, who successfully participated as a telepathic receiver in the original research at Maimonedes and who instigated this contest at the second ASD conference, which he hosted at the University of Virginia in 1985.
Four collages were created by artist Victoria Rabinowe and placed in sealed envelopes. No one other than she saw the pictures prior to their being offered to sender Ed Kellogg, an experienced lucid dreamer and director of the Phenomenological Laboratory in Ashland, OR. He selected one at random, and during the course of the night and morning telepathically sent the picture to the dreamers who participated in the contest.
The strangest part of the contest this year was that Ed, knowing he might be sleep deprived during the conference and NOT knowing he would be asked to be the sender, incubated dreams of the telepathy target on July 3, 1999, a week prior to the actual contest evening. His dreams of that night were in themselves precognitive in describing a number of unusual elements of the outdoor Friday evening meeting pre-contest meeting (which he related to me beforehand!), but not only that, amazing correspondences to the actual target picture selected a week later were found in his dated and handwritten dream journal. Had he been a contestant he would have won a prize ribbon.
The picture he randomly selected (#2) is a busy one whose background shows a lush theatre or opera house in gold and red, with ornate décor featuring cherubs and scrollwork. In the foreground a smiling young woman floats in the air, in a pose that reminded him of the classic Marilyn Monroe playmate picture, wearing a short strapless gown made of white feathers. Below her, a Buddy Hackett-type clown dressed in oversized red pants, a yellow shirt, space ball hat, Ring-O badge, and an oversized red glove on his right hand, points one finger at her. A red velvet curtain on the stage, partly open, reveals a larger than life scene of black chopsticks delicately placing a succulent morsel in a geisha’s mouth.
Ed Kellogg relates that after reflection, he finally titled the picture The Goddess at Play, which he used for his sending. The general impressions/feelings he conveyed telepathically were that of a playful goddess/woman, wild party/circus, theatre of the absurd, and culture clash (circus, opera, and geisha). He outlined as well major object elements from the picture, predominant structures, predominant colors, predominant feelings and predominant characters. As Ed tells it: "Because the target picture seemed so complex, I had to prioritize the different elements in the picture for my sending. Because I had already tuned into the picture precognitively, I focused on sending - what I had already received - a week in the past! A sort of ‘distilled’ sending, if you see what I mean. (I know this sounds confusing ... it reminds me of the paradox of the Ourobouros, the snake that eats its own tail.)"
On Saturday morning, the four pictures in the pool were displayed and the dreamers self-selected the picture they felt most corresponded with their dreams, placing copies of their dreams in the envelope attached to that picture. Judges later read all the dreams and determined the winners.
The first prize ribbon was awarded to Kristena West who dreamt among other things of "a theatre and gold and happy women, eating and sex". Although Pat Kampmeier had numerous correspondences with the target picture, she had placed her dreams in the wrong envelope, but the judges decided she deserved second prize anyway for her specific hits such as, "woman w/an eggshell white dress … horizontal picture, rather than a vertical one, the stroking is somewhat like a broad stroking (of paint) with a black outline (the collage was black bordered, having been mounted on black paper), …there’s a woman, maybe a dancing woman, a fire, maybe feasting…a painting…similar to the one (of Chagall’s) where his wife is dancing in the sky…some antique things…an old-fashioned house…something about music (piano in picture)… somebody had just sung an audition or what…a sense of happy, busy activity, " Moe Munroe won the third prize ribbon for her dream containing images of "rings, birds (feathers, wings), table, laughing, amused, lady." Runners-up Robert Gongloff had elements of "formal English, joyful, music, circus" and Nicole Gratton of "classroom (theatre), inside/outside, pleasant." Honorable mention was also given to Mary Trouba, Mary Anne Woodman, and Jodine Grundy who placed their dreams in the wrong envelopes but had many correspondences with the target picture, such as music, floating images, party, circus, etc.
Of the non-target pictures, Mary Ann Woodman had the best hit on #1. Marion von Beck was a runner-up.
Robert Waggoner, Jodine Grundy and Lynne Hoss were co-winners of best of #3 ,with Mary Dawson and Mary Ann Woodman runners-up.
Jill Van Giesen had the best hit on #4 ,with Jeff Green and Shirl Coburn, the runners-up.
Congratulations to all those who participated in the contest this year. Join us for a "Capital Contest" in Washington, D.C. in July, 2000!
©1999 Association for the Study of Dreams. All Rights Reserved